A rendering of the project proposed at the Concar Shopping Center.

Two transformative development projects in San Mateo are up for a final vote by the City Council Monday. The Concar Passage development, consisting of 952 to 961 residential units on what is now the Concar Shopping Center, and a 225-unit 100% affordable housing project downtown could both soon break ground if approved during Monday’s meeting.

The former development proposal is on a 14.5-acre site and includes 880 market-rate units and 73 very-low income ones, 40,000 square feet of commercial space and 4.67 acres of publicly accessible open space.

The applicant also originally proposed 38 moderate-income units instead of market rate, but the council in June decided to forgo those units and instead redirect the $5.16 million that would’ve been used for them toward traffic improvements, including along the congested 19th Avenue/Fashion Island Boulevard corridor. That direction was provided in part to address concerns of residents surrounding the proposed development.  

But the Planning Commission during a meeting in July took issue with the council’s direction and is urging it to retain the 38 moderate-income units, citing the need for more housing amid the ongoing affordability crisis. The council will make a final decision on the matter during Monday’s meeting.

480 E. Fourth Ave. and 400 E. Fifth Ave. San Mateo

Artist’s rendering of a new development on Fourth and Fifth avenues in San Mateo.

Located at 480 E. Fourth Ave. and 400 E. Fifth Ave., the 100% affordable housing project is seven stories tall and is connected to a five-level parking structure via a pedestrian bridge over East Fifth Avenue.

The residential building includes 122 units reserved for extremely-low- to low-income households earning between 30% and 60% of area median income while 101 units will be for households that earn greater than 60% area median income and at or less than 80% area median income.

A preference will be provided to households that live or work in the city and for public employees for 25% of the units. The project includes 65 studio, 48 one-bedroom, 53 two-bedroom and 59 three-bedroom units.

The project site, which includes two parcels, is currently used as a surface parking lot. It is also home to the Worker’s Resource Center, which will be relocated off site to make way for the development.

During the same meeting, the council will consider approving a one-year lease of the property at 171 N. Amphlett Blvd. to house the worker resource center. The lease will not exceed $64,925.

Nonprofit developer MidPen initially proposed 164 units in a five-story building. But when Assembly Bill 1763, which allows for greater height and density near transit hubs regardless of local restrictions, took effect Jan. 1, the City Council directed MidPen to increase the size of the project, making San Mateo the first city in the state to leverage the new law.

Commissioners and numerous residents were enthusiastically supportive of both development proposals during Planning Commission meetings held over the past few months. But some residents remain concerned about the size of the Concar development and the height of the affordable one. Traffic congestion is also concerning many who live near the projects.

The public will be able to weigh in on both developments during the meeting, which will be held on Zoom. Visit To watch the meeting. Meeting ID is 813 3337 4306.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102

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